Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Commercial Real Estate show signs of Recovery

Dividends start to rise at commercial REITs

NEW YORK – Nov. 22, 2010 – Some of the country’s biggest real estate investment trusts, ranging from Simon Property Group Inc. to Kimco Realty Corp. to Nationwide Health Properties Inc., raised their quarterly dividends this month.

More commercial property companies are expected to follow suit in the weeks and months to come. The higher quarterly payouts reflect the better occupancy levels and higher rents, which are boosting the income pool for dividends.

That is a stark contrast from the last few years, when REITs were busy slashing or suspending dividends to preserve cash and ride out the recession. Since the first of this year, dozens of REITs have reversed course.

Brad Case, vice president of research and information at the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, confirms, “The operating fundamentals in commercial real estate seem to be getting better in the major markets in general.” This week, he will make his bullish case about real-estate stocks at the REIT World conference in New York.

While conditions are indeed improving, dividends still are not as lucrative as they were at the height of the market in 2005 and 2006. Mike Kirby, director of research for Green Street Advisors, reasons that most REITs are trying to be conservative.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Report Shows Median Closed Price Stabilizing
NAPLES, Fla.-November 19, 2010- Real estate activity in the Naples area is trending upward according to a report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island).

“We saw how the third quarter sales were impacted by the end of the homebuyer tax credit and the news of the oil spill, but we are now seeing a resurgence in the marketplace,” stated Michele Harrison, REALTOR with John R. Wood REALTORS®. “The pending sales activity that was missing during the summer is back.”

"The overall pending sales trend when compared year over year shows the market is moving back up,” said John Steinwand, President of Naples Realty Services. Overall pending sales for the 12 months ending October 2010 increased 11 percent when compared to the 12 months ending October 2009. Overall pending sales increased to 9,400 compared to 8,437.

Phil Wood, President of John R. Wood REALTORS® agrees, “In the $1 million and over price segment, pending sales are up over 40% this year.”
The number of available properties decreased 3 percent to 9,044 down from 9,347.

“The bank freeze on foreclosed homes has not scared buyers away, they are still buying properties,” said Steve Barker, Managing Broker of Amerivest Realty.

The report provides annual comparisons of single-family home and condo sales (via the SunshineMLS), price ranges, geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. The statistics are presented in chart format, along with the following analysis: Overall closed sales for the 12 months ending October 2010 increased 19 percent with 7,912 sales compared to 6,645 sales for the 12 months ending October 2009.

Single-family pending sales increased 20 percent with 436 contracts in October 2010 compared to 363 contracts in October 2009. Single-family pending sales in the $1 to $2 million category increased 54 percent for the 12 months ending October 2010 with 263 contracts compared to 171 contracts for the 12 months ending October 2009.

Condo pending sales increased 6 percent in October 2010 with 345 contracts compared to 326 contracts in October 2009. Condo closed sales increased 31 percent with 3,897 contracts for the 12 months ending October 2010 compared to 2,964 contracts for the same 12 months last year.

The overall Median Closed Price for the 12 months ending October 2010 showed no change from one year ago, remaining at $180,000. However, there was a 3% overall increase in the median for properties in the price segments above $300,000. “The median closed price continues to stabilize.

For properties under $300,000 the median closed price increased 2 percent and single-family homes median closed price increased 12 percent for the 12 months ending October 2010,” said Jo Carter, President of Jo Carter and Associates. Charts/Statistics

Monday, November 15, 2010

Florida economy is recovering - Moody's Report

Moody’s hopeful on recovery, notes pent-up Fla. demand

PHOENIX – Nov. 15, 2010 – The pace of the national recovery is moderating and the lift spurred by nearly $800 billion in federal stimulus spending is fading, but there are several promising signs that growth will continue, including in Florida, a leading national fiscal analyst told reporters Friday morning.

Moody’s Analytics economist Chris Lafakis said the Federal Reserve will remain aggressive, with a quantitative easing plan that he equated to “basically flooding the global monetary system.” Lafakis predicted the strategy would lift asset prices, reduce corporate borrowing costs, and increase the willingness of consumers to spend.

Lafakis predicted substantial growth in Florida’s economy, mentioning that the Miami, Orlando and Tampa areas are expected to recover “quite significantly” due to a rebound in population growth and an increased willingness of people to travel to Florida for vacations. “The story of pent-up demand is true in no place more so than Florida,” he said.

Nationally, corporate balance sheets are strong and business profits have “fully recovered from the recession,” he said, adding that businesses are in a position to hire more employees, though their level of willingness varies.

“It’s truly the case that profit growth leads job growth,” Lafakis told state government reporters gathered for the annual conference of the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors. "More Details"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Global investors poised for activity

SEATTLE – Nov. 9, 2010 – The United States’ investment sales market has the potential for increased fluidity in the year ahead, based on findings from Colliers International’s Q3 2010 Global Investor Sentiment Survey.

More than six out of 10 U.S. real estate investors responding to the survey indicated that they are considering selling property over the next year, up considerably from the 23 percent reported in the Q1 response. Meanwhile, 85 percent of U.S. investors expressed a desire to buy assets domestically during that time, with a focus on primary markets nationwide. The combined forces may position a significantly increased number of U.S. assets to trade over the next 12 months. In particular, U.S. investors noted markets in California, Texas, New York/New Jersey and Florida, as well as Washington, D.C., Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver and Seattle as key targets.

Further, 60 percent of U.S. real estate investor respondents expect to expand their portfolios in the coming year. An additional three out of 10 expect to maintain the size of their portfolios, with some of those expressing an interest in rebalancing their portfolios among different asset classes "More Details"